A Capita assessor was caught on camera mocking a disabled personal independence payment (PIP) claimant as being fat and boasting of being able to earn £20,000 a month by rushing through assessments.{jcomments on}

The Channel 4 Dispatches programme managed to get Noel, an undercover reporter who is a former psychiatric nurse, onto the Capita training for PIP assessors.

In the resulting programme, ‘The great benefits row’, shown last night, Alan, a Capita trainer tells the reporter that one claimant has a “disability known as being fat, she asks for help to wipe her arse because she’s too fucking fat to do it herself”

He then goes on to talk about how much he can earn:

Alan: The money? It was ridiculous. I was getting around 20 grand a month, most months.

They’d pay around £80 an assessment for the first 8 assessments, then they paid £160 an assessment for 8-14, then they paid £300 per assessment for 14-21.

Noel: So I imagine they’re all banging them out very quickly then?

Alan: Oh yeah, we was flying through them, because of that money. That’s 20 grand a month.

Alan tells Noel that sometimes he completes his assessments before even meeting the claimant:

Alan: So you’d think there’s something significant as a leg missing would be ‘oh my god there’s the money; but when it gets to the nuts and bolts of it he does everything really don’t he? I’d literally finished his assessment before I’d even walked through the door. I’d done it on Saturday. Cos the informal observations with only one leg…

Alan then claims that it is the informal observations when the claimant is not aware that they are being assessed that “get your whole assessment done”.

Noel: Do you catch many out with the informal obs then?

Alan: Most of its informal obs you catch them out on

Noel: Do you don’t tell them you’re doing an informal obs then?

Alan: No, no. If you tell them you’re doing an informal observation they’ll watch what they’re doing.

Noel: Right

Alan: They’re informal, that’s why you don’t have to say anything. They’ll tell you everything that they want to tell you, is wrong, you can completely dismiss it more often than not. You’ll get your whole assessment done with watching what they do.

Alan is even filmed taking photographs of his computer screen with claimants’ details on them, so that he can prove he carried out the assessments if there is any dispute about payment with his employer.

Whilst Alan is allegedly being sacked by Capita, many claimants will wonder: how many Capita staff share his views and his working practices?

You can read Dispatches account of their programme here.



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